Keeping It Green at Oakton

Your source for the most current sustainability news from Oakton Community College


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Ecological Project Superintendent (Bachelor’s Required)

Ecological Project Superintendent

Job Summary

Cardno is a professional infrastructure and environmental services company, with expertise in the development and improvement of physical and social infrastructure for communities around the world.

Cardno is seeking an Ecological Project Superintendent in our Chicago, IL office. This position will assist with management and technical oversight of ecological restoration projects, landscape construction projects, supervision of field work and field staff.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

> Oversee and implement ecological restoration projects at the ground level
> Oversee and implement landscape construction projects at the ground level
> Supervise field personnel
> Oversight of contractors
> Procure materials for projects
> Mentor field staff regarding ecological restoration techniques, equipment and general construction
> Conduct site visits and field assessments
> Develop work plans and follow contract specifications
> Develop schedule for field staff and contractors
> Prepare routine correspondence, data reports, standardized documents and work plans for internal and client review
> Comply with all company and client safety requirements

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Register NOW! Principles and Practice of Ecological Restoration

Here at Oakton, we are thrilled about our new Environmental Studies Concentration and the academic growth, hands-on experiences, and broadened horizons it will bring to our students and our campus. This spring, we are excited to share a brand new course: Principles and Practice of Ecological Restoration (Listed in the catalog as: Topics in Biology: Principles and Practice of Ecological Restoration – 31773 – BIO 290 – 001).

This immersive and hands-on course will educate students on the history and importance of ecological restoration practices and allow them to put classroom knowledge to the test with hands-on restoration projects on campus. This is excellent training for individuals who may be interested in careers related to ecology, restoration, natural resources, forestry, environmental science, or related work areas. However, it is also a great experience for anyone who cares about the natural world and wants to spend time learning about and protecting our local wild spaces.

Held on Tuesdays from 2:00pm to 6:10pm on our Des Plaines Campus, the 3-credit course runs September 19 through December 12. If you are not currently an Oakton student, but would like to sign up for this class, we invite you to apply for admission now!

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National Great Rivers Rsearch and Education Center Internship–Due Jan. 18

The deadline to apply for an NGRREC Internship is Monday, January 18th!

Every year, the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC) hosts a highly successful summer internship program for college sophomores, juniors, and seniors. This prestigious program is a paid internship opportunity, providing a $4,000 (pre-tax) stipend over the course of the program, and gives students a chance to gain real experience in variety of environmental careers such as ecological research, fisheries science, education, policy, and social science. At the conclusion of this nine week internship, students present their project results to their fellow interns, faculty advisors, and invited guests at a two-day Intern Symposium. This year, NGRREC anticipates selecting 27 students for this competitive internship program.

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A Partnership in Preservation

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A recent Saturday morning began with birdsong, a cloudy sky, and a buzz of excitement at Oakton’s Des Plaines campus as a group of individuals gathered as part of an ecological field site visit organized by the Forest Preserves of Cook County.  Attendees included staff from the two organizations, stewards of regional restoration sites, and site volunteers who joined together in an effort to learn more about the partnership between the FPCC and Oakton Community College.

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For over 25 years, Oakton and the FPCC have been working closely with each other to understand, manage, and restore the natural areas within this 250 some acre plot along the Des Plaines River. It is near impossible to determine where Oakton land starts and Forest Preserve land begins, the only indicators being scattered stone markers along the borders. And that’s probably the way it should be. The lack of constructed barriers and fences allow the land to flow naturally from ecosystem to ecosystem, which include woodlands, prairies, and ephemeral ponds. FPCC purchased the land which is now Kloempken Prairie in the mid 40’s while Oakton’s land was purchased from the Catholic Church three decades later (though much of the area had been used for local agriculture as evidenced by the multiple drainage ditches).

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Tree Conservation Research Aide – Part-time (Lisle)

Position Summary:

Assist with compiling data on threatened oak trees for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, which is an authoritative global assessment of the conservation status of plant and animal species.  Work with Tree Conservation Specialist to prioritize oaks for assessment and synthesize research.  Funding for this position is temporary with an expected duration of 12 months, with a potential for extension.

Essential Functions:

  • Assist with gathering data on oak species from a multitude of sources to contribute to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
  • Enter data on oak species into the IUCN Species Information Service database and edit existing data.
  • Provide support to the Tree Conservation Specialist with regard to The Morton Arboretum’s role in leading oak research and conservation efforts.
  • Other duties as assigned.

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#Oakemon: Discovering Nature on Oakton’s Campuses through New Eyes

Things tend to slow down here during the summer–but this week, you wouldn’t know it by taking a look outside. Swarms of folks are walking through campus on this sunny day, hanging out by the lake, walking along the forest preserve’s edge, observing the wetland, and gathering around the many outdoor sculpture pieces. Why you ask? Perhaps it has something to do with the 15 Pokéstops on our Des Plaines campus or the two gyms (which are currently held by yellow and red…but have seen some fluctuation).  Pokémon Hunters who have downloaded Pokémon Go have plenty of opportunities to explore, capture, and refuel while on campus (in between classes of course). You’ll find your fair share of common urban Pokémon like Pidgey and Rattata and discover Horsea and Magikarp down by the water but with our 147 acres and natural landscape you have an increased chance of discovering some rarer individuals too. Find them in the woods, in our prairie restoration sites, and gardens.  I haven’t yet made it out to our Skokie campus–but I would be surprised if there weren’t a few Pokéstops there as well given the more urban setting.

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So why would Oakton’s Green Committee  devote time and energy to sharing the details of Pokémon Go? Because a big part of being green is getting out and experiencing nature. It involves appreciating the diversity of plants and animals that abound, the variety of ecosystems and environments that are able to provide shelter to wildlife, the trees that generate the air we breathe. Our staff naturalist, grounds crew, facilities, and sustainability staff together with our students in courses like Environmental Science and those in Ecology Club, spend time all year restoring, preserving, and enhancing these beautiful spaces. Continue reading